The Congressional Globe, Volume 2-3: Twenty-Fourth Congress, First Session Page: 613
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THE CONGRESSIONAL GLOBE.
standing on both sides, and as the gentleman from
Kentucky had made an apology to the House,
and one that Mr. L. considered ample find satis- j
factory, he hoped the chairman would resume the
Mr. JARVIS said it appeared to him that the
rase was a very simple mie. It was whether the
House would sinfer itself to lie insulted through
its chairman when in Committee of the Whole.
If they would not sustain their chairman—if they
would not resent an indignity offered to him in
the chair—there was an end to all order.
Mr. LEWIS replied, that if the chairman was
willing to push forward the business of the House
in a manner violative of the rules of order, he
couid not but expect that the House would insist
upon the observance of its rules. He did not
impute any blame to the gentleman from Penn-
sylvania, then occupying the chait. On the con-
trary, Mr. L. believed ne was acting in accord-
ance with what he believed to be the wishes of
the House. He trusted, however, they would
not be disturbed by a formal discussion on the
subject. As to the indignity to the House, he
considered an ample atonement had been offered,
for something was owing to the circumstances
and to the course pursued by the chairman.
Mr. PATTON thought the first suggestion of
the gentleman from Alabama entitled to very :
great consideration, and they should strive to
pass over this thing. It was not Mr. P.'s inten-
tion to express any opinion on the subject, or to
recommend any step for the purpose oi' asserting
the dignity of the House, or of inquiring who
was wrong, or who most wrong, in this matter,
foe he did not deem such a course to be necessary.
There is the gentleman who occupied the chair
refusing to resume it, and they must consequently j
cither stand where they were, or get on in some 1
way. If the gentleman from Pennsylvania still
refused to resume the chair, Mr. P. hoped the
Speaker would request some one else to take it.
[Cries of"' No! no!" from all partsof the Halt.]
Mr. CAMBRELENG hoped noone else would
take the chair till the insult offered to the Chair-
man had been satisfactorily disposed of.
By unanimous consent, the Speaker signed a
number of enrolled bills at this stage.
Mr. CRAIG moved an adjournment-, which
Mr. PATTON wished to add to what he said
before. It was perfectly manifest that the pre-
siding officerof the House could not do anything
more than he had done; and it was for the House
to take what measures it thought best. No prop-
osition of that sort having been made, he now
submitted to the Chair whether it was not the
rule that he should vaeatc the chair, and, if the
former Chairman refused to take the chair, appoint
gome one else in his place.
Mr. PARKS had particularly marked the
course of the chairman that night, which, in his
opinion, was strictly parliamentary; and, after
what had taken place, he should deem it highly
improper in the Speaker to call any other person
to the chair, until some apology had been made
to the gentleman for the insult offered him by
the member from Kentucky. For one, he should
object to any other chairman being appointed
until that be done. i
Mr. INGERSOLL objected to this course, as ;
it might render the session interminable. He ;
would take the liberty of adding that it was not ,
at all necessary that the House should instantly '
vindicate its own dignity, if it had been insulted. '
Any time during the session would do, either by [
the appointment of a committee or some other !
mode. He hoped, therefore, that some other
gentleman would be called to the chair, and leave
the question open for future direction.
The SPEAKER would respectfully state that
as the case was altogether of a novel character,
he would be entirely under the control and gov-
ernment of the House in this matter.
Mr. INGERSOLL then moved that the
Speaker request some other gentleman to take the
chair. [Cries of " No! no!" from all parts of the
Mr. CALHOON, of Kentucky, said if the
House would accede to this proposition, he was
well assured that his colleague would on Mon-
day make such an apology as would be right and
I proper. If hedid not, then Mr. C. himself would
! move saeli resolutions and such proceedings as
should vindicate the order and dignity of the
House. To this ho pledged himself, and he
hoped the House would assent to it.
Mr. WILLIAMS, of Kentucky, knew his col-
league to be actuated by the best feelings, both
towards him and towards the House. During
the present session Mr. W. had done all in his
power to keep order, nor had he done anything
to obstruct tile business of legislation; but, on
the contrary, everything to expedite it. What
apology might be necessary was unknown to him,
but he could only repeat what hi* had said before;
that, under the excitement of the moment, be-
lieving, as could be testified to by a host of mem-
bers, that an indignity had been offered to him
by the Chairman, he had acted as he had done,
and as he believed he had a perfect right to do.
He had called for a division of the question; the
Chairman said " nevermind—go on, go on;" and
then one of Mr. W.'s colleagues came to him,
and told him that he had received more than any
man ought to receive, and that he ought to insist
upon his rights. Still he thought the Chairman
intended nothing till after two successive count*.'
, By passing through the tellersj it was evident
: that a quorum was not present; and it was the
duty of the Chairman immediately to have vacated
the chair, and made known the fact to the House.
Still the Chairman was not satisfied, and he him-
self commenced counting, when the member from
Vermont [Mr. Everett] moved that the com-
mittee rise and report that there was no quorum.
Well, what did the Chairman then do? Instead
of putting the question, (said Mr. W.,) as he
should have done, he ordered the members to
take their seats, commenced counting, and I got
up to a point of order. The Chairman directed
me to take my seat, and I refused, when there
were cries of " Order ! order !" from every part
of the Hall, intimating that I was out of order.
I then said that I callcd the Chairman to order,
and that he had failed to discharge the duty im-
posed upon him. I was again called to order
from every quarter, and every man knows how
to appreciate a thing of this kind. I have-said
that I was the last man upon this floor who would
i offer an indignity to the Ilouse, but that all that
I did do was intended to reach the Chairman,and
I will not recall what I have said. Towards none
do I entertain any unkind feelings, except one,
but I will never submit to be dictated to by any
man. I do not know (added Mr. W.) whether
you can separate the personal and official charac-
ter of the Chairman, but 1 intended to insulthim
without intending to insult the House, for I knew
he had no right to govern the House.
Mr. UNDERWOOD made a few suggestions,
i He was satisfied, he said, that his colleague made
the remarks he did, under the supposition that he
was insulted by the gentleman from Pennsyl vamn.
But Mr. U. was perfectly satisfied that that gen-
tleman designed no insult to his colleague from
Kentucky. His colleague, perhaps, was not
much acquainted with the gentleman's rapidity
of manner,, and therefore ascribed it tq insult
towards himself. Mr. U. was satisfied the
Chairman was acting his best to progress in the
business of the House, whether in order or oat
of order, in counting the House after the report
of the tellers that no quorum had voted. Mr. U.
did not know whether the Chairman had the
, right to do this or not. If he had, his colleague
] [Mr. Williams] was wrong in calling him to
j order. It seemed to him, however, that the
' difficulty could be settled in this way; that his
colleague might acknowledge, without compro-
mitting his honor in the least, that what he did,
proceeded from a belief that he was personally
insulted; and Mr. U. felt satisfied, aai his friend
and colleague, that no insult was intended. [Mr.
U. paused for some time.]
Mr. FRY said ho had listened to the explana-
tion of the gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr.
Williams,] and it certainly was unsatisfactory,
and he suggested a resolution to that effect.
Mr. UNDERWOOD begged leave to add a
word 6r two. He was sure he could not be mis-
taken in supposing the Chairmaft intended no in-
sult to his colleague, and he thought the correct
course would be for his colleague to state to the
Houae that wbat be had done proceeded fVom a
belief that he was insulted, and his rights trampled
upon; that in that belief only, and laboring undet
that impression, if it should be the sense of the
House that he was not insulted, or intended to
be insulted, he retracts everything ho has said.
This Mr. U. thought the best way, without com-
promising the honor of anybody.
A considerable pause took place, apparently to
give Mr. Williams a further opportunity of ex-
plaining; but that gentleman not rising,
The SPEAKER said the course of the Chair-
man, in counting the House when a quorum had
not voted, was strictly parliamentary.
Mr. WHITTLESEY, of Ohio, said ho had
no doubt all the difficulty had grown out of the
fact of the gentleman from Kentucky not know*
ing the rules. It had been the invariable rule for
the Speaker and the Chairman of the Committee
of the Whole, whenever the question was raised;
whether a quorum was present or not, to proceed
to count the members, or to ascertain in any other
way he thought best to accomplish that object.
Now, it was well known that a division of the
House did not always ascertain the fact, for it
was frequently the case that all the members did
not rote. In the present instance, he knew that
many members did not vote, and he held it to be
the duty of the Chairto ascertain whether aquo-
rum was present or not, by his own personal ex-
amination, if he could. He thought at the time
that the gentleman from Kentucky supposed the
chairman had no such right or power, but Mr.
W. maintained it to be his duty. Now, if the
gentleman from Kentucky was laboring under
that impression, it seemed to him (Mr. W.) that,
without compromitting his honor, it was aue to
him to make such a statement to the House. An
explanation like this would settle the difficulty,
nnd the House might then proceed in its busi-
Mr. PATTON had thought the plan he recom-
mended would have been satisfactory to the
House; but gentlemen said, " No ! no! no !" and
yet no one had offered any proposition. He now
moved the following resolution:
Raolvcd, That a conmiittce he appointed to take intrt
consideration wlrethernny, and if any, what, measures outfit
to be taken in vindication o!" tiie authority of the lloiue
alleged to be contemned by the violation of older reported
by the Chairman of tire Committee of the Whole on the
state of the Union.
Mr. P. thought this would be the best mode to
be adopted, and then the business of the House
might proceed. [Cries of " No! no !"]
Sir. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, adverted to the
fact that this was, perhaps, the first instance of its
kind that had occurred since tlie organization of the
Government. The fact was, that if the ground
was maintained, that the Chairman could be offi-
cially or personally insulted ill the chair, no ore
I would ever consent to occupy it. He would say
to the House, however, that, such was his knowl-
edge of his colleague's character as an honorable
and feeling man, he was sure he intended no
insult to the House, and that he was excited
towards the Chairman only tinder the belief that
that gentleman had exhibited a want of attention
towards him. Now, Mr. J. was well convinced
' that every member of the House would acquit the
; gentleman from Pennsylvania of any intention of
i a personal insult; but his (Mr. J.'s) colleague
j being under that impression, as is very evident
■ from what he has said, has made an attack upon
the Chairman of the House which is totally
unjustifiable. He had no doubt that his fHend
, would take the advice (if his colleagues, either
' then, or When under less excitement. If he did
! sot, he had a different character from what Mr.
J had always known him to be possessed of.
! Mr. HARPER, in a few remarks, also urged
the gentleman from Kentucky to make the expla-
nation suggested by his colleagues.
Mr. EVERETT said ho had made the motion
that the committee rise and report there was no
quorum, holding that to be the proper course,
though he knew that many gentlemen contended
it to be the duty of the Chairman to ascertain
himself whether there was a qUiVrum or not. '■ It
was possible that his motion had produced the
difficulty,and it was with extreme regret now that
he had made it. . ,
Mr. WILLIAMS again repeated his former
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United States. Congress. The Congressional Globe, Volume 2-3: Twenty-Fourth Congress, First Session, book, 1836; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30905/m1/661/?q=williams: accessed November 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.